Amazon won’t settle for taking over Long Island City or an almost million square foot fulfillment center on Staten Island.

Now, the online shopping behemoth has signed a lease for a 117,00 square foot warehouse at 1300 Viele Avenue in Hunts Point.

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Amazon is the latest company to enter the ‘last mile’ trend of snatching up warehouse space in The Bronx. Last year, Walmart’s Jet online retailer snatched up 200,000 square feet at the former ABC Carpet warehouse along the Bronx River and Bruckner Boulevard.

The former Whitestone Movie Theater site is being turned into a two-level 840,000 square foot ‘last mile’ warehouse as well and is being billed as one of the first of its kind in the country and the first in the East Coast.

1300 Viele Avenue in Hunts Point will be the site of a new Amazon “last mile” facility in The Bronx.

There’s a big demand for industrial spaces now, especially in The Bronx where these sites were dormant for years.

But thanks to rezonings of industrial areas to residential, many industrial buildings have been lost thus the push for snatching up these properties often at a premium.

Real Estate Weekly reports:

According to Jason Gold, an investment sales agent for Ariel Property Group, who works within the Bronx, the heightened demand for industrial properties is only part of the picture.

“It’s not a surprise that there’s demand, whatʼs surprising is the amount of competition,” said Gold.
Industrial properties – many of which have sat idle for years on end – are now fetching a premium, in some cases, according to Gold, selling at a 10 to 20 percent more.

“The demand for this type of tenancy is going up, and up, and up, and up,” said Gold. “The reason why is that all these areas [in the Bronx] were rezoned for residential it took areas away from industrial.” The rise of e-commerce, and the logistical demands therein, play a large role in that rise, said Gold. “You’re seeing a lot more of these private equity companies and institutional players acquire large parcels and build for the needs of an e-commerce tenant.”

The property at 1300 Viele Avenue was purchased by the current owners, MRP Realty, and AEW Capital Management for $26.5 million.

While many will be excited at the prospect of having more jobs in The Bronx, we have to ask what will the impact be on already overly congested roadways and how will it impact the environment?

Hunts Point has already suffered enough and with a large company like Amazon, we know these trucks will be coming and going all day long.

What about the health of our local residents who already suffer some of the highest rates of asthma in the nation? What about traffic fatalities caused by the constant stream of trucks through our streets?

What guarantees do we have that Amazon will be a good neighbor?

These are just some of the important questions we must always ask ourselves.

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